War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0272 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Brigadier-General WADSWORTH:

I asked about the Indiana cavalry because the Secretary seemed to reproach me for stripping Washington of troops.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS, May 28 [?], 1862.

Major-General SHIELDS,

Commanding Division:

DEAR GENERAL: The major-general commanding desires you to move your division on the line leading through Thoroughfare Gap to Front Royal. The three brigades now on the march are to be joined by the one at Catlett's as soon as that place can be occupied by a force to be sent immediately from Washington.

Whilst urging your march as much as is consistent with its entire efficiency for action at any moment, you are desired to keep your brigades in supporting distance of each other, and impress upon all commanders the necessity of keeping the ranks closed up, so that we may be ready for any emergency. You have received a copy of the instructions to General Geary: keep him also advised of your progress and of anything which may in any way affect or interest him. Department headquarters will be either at this place or on the line of your march. Communicate with them frequently, as often as anything occurs, and in any event at least twice a day.

Major-General Ord's division will follow you as soon as he can get on the march. I will endeavor to have him soon within supporting distance of you. He has yet to get his wagons, which will soon be done. The depot for your supplies will be established as close to your command as the present condition of the railroad will permit, and the railroad will be re-established as soon as possible. You will take with you a telegraph operator and re-establish telegraph communication.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.

RECTORTOWN, May 28, 1862.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:

The engine and train have come on safely, and have brought us into town about half an hour ago. My First Brigade is already here. Second and, I think, Third Brigade are close on its rear. I hope you have relieved the Fourth Brigade at Catlett's Station, and that it is forwarded on the road to join us. Please see to this, and push it forward as soon as possible. Let me know whether it is relieved and en route. The railroad is good to this point. Only one watering station to this point needing immediate repair; this owing to the good disposition of the inhabitants, for it has been abandoned to their mercy for several days.

Telegraph line is all uninjured. We picked up four railroad cars on the track which they had abandoned; also some other articles of public property. When out this side of Thoroughfare Gap we found a heap of ruins, being the remains of arms and accouterments, cooking utensils, army stores, and various articles of public property, burned on Monday